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 Impressions/Review of WWE '12 (Now that I'm starting to get an overall feel)

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PostSubject: Impressions/Review of WWE '12 (Now that I'm starting to get an overall feel)   Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:39 pm

Made a new thread separate from "I got the game", because it's more of a technical impressions and "things i've noticed now that i'm deep into the game" kind of post.

So here's what I think SO FAR... (I have explored maybe 69% of the game at this point)

I'm still forming my thoughts on the overall game even though I havn't yet done everything. I've made a character, did the new entrance video maker (it's nice), RTWM (it's not nice), and tested the waters with 2 weeks of Universe mode.

So, basically... WWE '12's strong points are the new gameplay elements, improved Universe, create a ring, and improved presentation in that order. It's weak points are the REALLY BAD Road To Wrestlemania, and it's crappy, neigh-unusable online servers that may or may not get fixed.

Honestly so far, I'm digging it and having fun, but only when I now know what modes to stick with to have fun, and which parts to avoid. It's not quite the 9/10 level, to be honest... But I will say this is a good 8.6/10. It's about on the level of SvR11 overall, with just some key things about that game that are made better with Gameplay and Universe.

Here's an in-depth look at a few things, starting with one of the most negative points for me, the Road To Wrestlemania, which, as far as i've come to feel, is vastly worse than last year in a completely different way, and I despise this mode, now.

After hearing people talk about Road To Wrestlemania I was really trying to understand what people were complaining about.

Now I know. Road To Wrestlemania is bad, annoying, aggravating, badly set up, and frustrating as hell, because not only is it extremely linear, past what it should be.... It doesn't even let you play full matches.

It lets you play SECTIONS of matches, like, 3 minutes of a match at a time, constantly forcing you to do things to trigger a cutscene which often ends in you being humiliated or losing on purpose.

For instance, you are only able to play certain parts of a match, like "Get him up to the stage and press Y" or "Beat up The Miz in this match for half a minute and press Y". It takes all the fun right out of it when you're barely playing much of anything for very long before long cutscenes intrude.

You don't really play full matches with this mode and that's what I mainly hate about it. The other thing is that it's WAY too goddamn hard. Within these tiny snippets of matches that you barely even get to play because it forces annoying objectives on you ever minute, the A.I is ratcheted up to being reversal and domination-fests where you're getting massacred like Undertaker at WM in last year's game in that one part that was very hard.

Meaning that you're going to be doing a lot of things over and over and over because they keep making sure to not let you do these stupid objectives you have to do every 2 minutes instead of playing a match. And it gets really tedious because some "matches" are like 10 strung together sequences of having to do specific things, which can turn, for instance a PPV Main Event at Bragging Rights into a tedious hour-long frustration fest of it telling you "Do this to continue"

The thing is, RTWM turns the gameplay into a series of extremly difficult and nerve wracking chores, and I find the mode to be terrible and very un-fun, now. I hate playing it, and I've gotten 40 minutes into it and I'm just stopping. Can't stand Road To Wrestlemania this year.

In general, it's a list of chores, that doesn't let you simply PLAY matches, it forces objectives that range from annoyingly simple to maddingly difficult down your throat, and strings together little chore lists together with cutscenes that do tend to be too numerous and too many (and aren't really as compelling as advertised). It makes the simplst task or event seem overly long, and the A.I in this mode is ridiculously hard and forces you to do things over and over again.

NOW..... That having been said, that's just one mode. So I can't dismiss the game because of that. (But seriously, if you try to play it, expect severe annoyance and not to have any fun or enjoyment with it)

WWE Universe is where it's at.

Universe is so much better than last year, and is the exact opposite on the spectrum of "fun to play" than the infuriatingly tedious Road To Wrestemania and Universe where i'll be spending every bit of my match and play time.

The momentum and managing of the Universe rosters, when it comes to win/loss records is superb, and even has a little meter to tell you the hot and cold streaks of the guys on the roster, depending on how you have them win or lose and put who over.

Rankings are completely fixed, and function better than last year, cutscenes (especially ones that don't make any sense) have been turned down for the most part, although things still happen.

You can have title defenses when and where you want them now (Finally), and you can change the participants of title matches on PPV's and still have them challenge. There is one more match for Raw and Smackdown matches, and I think 2 more patches for PPV's.

Universe is fun, and even better is that you have the option of simply heading to the next match, which makes it flow very well.

The only bad point is that you can't edit matches and then play the whole card, if you edit a match you have to play that match, but if you transition automatically to the next one, you're forced to play it as the game decides. You can fix this by going back to the method of exiting to the Universe menu after every match, which kinda sucks having to do, if you want 100% control.

But it's a minor issue. More of an annoyance than a deal-breaker, as I just resign myself to the fact that if I want it how I want it, i'll have to do each match individually as it comes up. Otherwise, if i'm fine with the match that the CPU generated, i'll play shows fully. (Which is what i've come around to doing. I let the CPU book what it wants. It's more fun that way, at least)

Universe Mode is the long-standing mode you'll want to play, and say to fuck all with Road To Wrestlemania mode.

Core Gameplay now.... It feels great.

It can feel a little hard at times, when the opponent kicks your ass (and they will), but most of the time, you can regain some control to get back into it... (I found that this mostly involves getting acquainted with reversals, because they will not let up IF they get their hands on you, UNLESS you break up their domination with a reversal)

Opponents pop back up constantly at the start of the match and you won't be able to keep them down.... but the more health they lose, you really start to notice. And I mean you REALLY start to notice. When it gets to the point where they hold a body part, they get slow, and won't get back up for at least 15 seconds sometimes.

So matches go from really fast, to really slow and intense during the course of it.

Basically, if you don't focus and get your stuff together, you are in total danger or losing most of the matches you're playing, unless you pay attention and play smart. Then you'll win the majority of them.

Caws, as in the CAW mode in itself has barely changed. They added about 4 new hairstyles, about 5 new accessories, things like that.... hardly anything else has changed at all.

Most people are saying that formulas from SvR11 work with about 90% accuracy. I don't have any formulas i've put in to test this with, but just by looking at how virtually similar this Caw mode is to last year's Caw mode, I can already tell they'll probably turn out almost exactly the same. If something doesn't you can easily tweak and fix it, i'm sure.

The new entrance movie creator makes really nice Trons, that seem like something that WWE throws together for it's new guys and mid-carders, which is nice. You have 28 templates to pick from and they can't be changes a whole lot, but you can change 2 lines of text, decide what color the text it, select the kind of footage it uses.

It will automatically put your finishers in there against random-in game wrestlers, and will show you behind some graphics sometimes, and flash your name against some live action footage, with some colored special effects borders of a color you choose.

After you make it, it will assign an automatic song, but then you can go into the actual Create-An-Entrance and change the song, while keeping the tron up.

The template you pick, by the way, will be your minitron, too. Minitrons don't show up in the Create-An-Entrance editor, but they will when you actually play a real match.

Create-An-Entrance is much the same as before, but with extra mo-capped animations down to the ring added.

Story Designer is absolutely 100% ported over from SvR11 and has no changes in it whatsoever. It is exactly the same. Nothing added, nothing removed.

So this makes the whole game feel like you can play some great matches, and makes it feel like the wrestling is the best part of the whole game.

Universe is #2 in terms of good things.

Lastly, Create-A-Ring is very fun and it's a good start. It helps the game have endless replay value to it, and even if there are a bunch of things i'd like them to add next year.... like for instance, even if they don't let us edit a stage (or at least mix and match stages), I'd like to be able to put designs on the floor pads. (Like the Nitro flames, ect), and also do some stuff with the ramp, so that it matches the ring you make.

Will I say it's the complete overhaul that it was advertised to be? No....... and yet... Kinda yes.

It feels a lot like the previous game with things improved a lot. It's definitely not re-invented from the ground up, and the fact that they made the matches and gameplay feel like real wrestling, and the AI is competitive to play against (while still not being the smartest in the world), is a HUGE improvement, technically. But it's not massive and earthshakingly new. It works and works well.

They did what they could that was new aside from that, and it's kind of surprising that they got as much in as they did, and I'm impressed by it.

But so far, if I had to say the two things that are actually negative and not things that I can praise, is again, Road To Wrestlemania is atrocious, and really is as bad as people have been saying.

And the online servers, as they are current, that may or may not get fixed sometime..... As of now, are absolutely unusable. Meaning that until they get this sorted, no one is playing anyone online, and no one is downloading or uploading squat.

It's not a perfect game, and not exactly AS omg-wonderful as I'd assumed it was based on hype alone, but it's pretty good.

So far if I had to give this a score, I would not give it a 9, but more in the ballpark of an 8.6. If Road To Wrestlemania was actually important to me though, i'd be much harsher on it. But Universe makes up for it's failings.

Don't bother with RTWM, and this may be a damn great game that you'll play all year.
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PostSubject: Re: Impressions/Review of WWE '12 (Now that I'm starting to get an overall feel)   Thu Nov 24, 2011 3:42 am

Oh sorry Mike I fogot to post the CAW formula for Mike Rocket. I'll have some breakie and then do it!

Game sounds good, should be coming tomorrow Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Impressions/Review of WWE '12 (Now that I'm starting to get an overall feel)   Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:34 am

OK, so a few thoughts from me.

Firstly, to counter-balance Mike's comments on Road to Wrestlemania mode. I actually really liked it and enjoyed playing it.

Basically, it is there to tell a single story, so yes I'd agree its linear, but then if you just see it as a fun way to tell quite a good interactive WWE storyline, then I think it works rather well and can actually be rather fun.

I think Mike is overstating things slightly when he talks about having to do loads and loads of "frustrating" objectives. Usually the objective in question is to beat down one or more opponents until you can trigger a match ending sequence, or until you can eliminate one of your opponent/partners from the match. Also, the game DOES actually let you play full matches in a great many occasions as the storyline progresses, and by no means to most of the triggered events result in you losing or being humiliated - only the first few while you are playing as a heel because after all the bad guys aren't supposed to win.

Some of the objectives are challenging, especially during the Jacob Cass "hero" part of the story, and you will have to redo some of the matches, but I never found myself growing frustrated by it, and I actually really enjoyed the storyline that was being plead out. Without giving too much away, the "hero" bit of the storyline is something I'd really love to see actually done on RAW and Smackdown, and the final match is pretty epic.

For me, if they'd made RTWM mode just a series of matches, then it would have been too much like a weekly grind in the same way that Universe mode is. So doing it this was is something different, and I liked it.

Couple of things I didn't like. One, on backstage brawls you are still very limited in the number of moves you can do, and secondly when you get to the Jacob Cass storyline, your CAW will have its height, weight, abilities, attributes, and move set changed to meet the pre-programmed animations in the game. Be careful of this. I'd created a Luke Shand CAW, intending to use him in the game under the name Jacob Cass. Somehow or another, though I thought I'd come out and chosen to use a new and different CAW slot, it erased my Luke CAW. Jacob's move set is pretty good though (its basically a simple Austin Aries move set as he did the voice acting).

So, different views on RTWM.

As far as the core game goes, I do think its improved. The animation is nicer, and everything flows a lot better. Things like being able to grab people properly as they rise, the degrees of selling, the faster pace of moves and reversals, the greater range of quick grapple moves, its all good. The "press A to grapple. Hold A to do submissions" control did get on my nerves at first as I kept doing submissions when I didn't want to. But once you are used to it, its OK. The only thing I don't like, and I mean I REALLY ABSOLUTELY DETEST is the pinning system. I realiy wish there was the option to have the old button mash back. My timing sucks on the pin.

All the other stuff like ring and objects physics seems fine. Its not radically different, but it all works well.

CAW mode is virtually unchanged, aside from a few added extras. I made the Reaper this afternoon using the face morphing I put on the site and its fine. So that will save some time.

Create a ring is very cool, and so far I've created the CXA ring, plus a couple of quick trials for a new Nitro ring. Its simple to use and very effective.

Create a logo is as it was last year, meaning you can create stuff, but it will take time.

Create an entrance is as it was last year except I notice that on mine some playlists don't work. I know I have certain songs in their own playlist that I used last year, but they aren't showing this year. For instance, Reign in Darkness won't show for the Reaper, so I am using Evolution. I have his announced name as David Shane.

Create a titan-tron is superb. Its really very impressive. I'm using the Undead theme for the Reaper, with a custom Reaper logo on it. Looks excellent.

Create a moveset is as it was, except a few moves (like Orton's punt) are missing.

I've not dabbled with Universe mode at all yet, as I want to get everything in place before I go in. Now I've completed RTWM and made Reaper and the CXA ring, I need to

Make Myron, Fireball, Luke, Homer, Reggie, and Joxide. Await Rocket, Chio, Rob, Paul James, etc.

Make an IPW:UK ring for my "Superstars" brand. Includes making the IPW:UK logo.

Finalise my Nitro ring for my WWE branded show.

Download some WCW and WWE CAWs to finish off the roster

Sort out the champions

Make my brands

Then I can start Universe mode!

I'm not climbing to the top of the mountain. I am the damn mountain!
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PostSubject: Re: Impressions/Review of WWE '12 (Now that I'm starting to get an overall feel)   Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:40 am

So with RTWM, does it get any better than that HORRID Bragging Rights match at the start of the Sheamus story?

The one that consists of about 10 matches linked together with loading screens? Becuase that turned me off more than anything.

I just want to know if, after the Backstage with Edge (which also annoyed me because they Y button would not light up), if nothing like that Bragging Rights match happens again, I will probably give this mode another chance.

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PostSubject: Re: Impressions/Review of WWE '12 (Now that I'm starting to get an overall feel)   Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:49 am

Also, I feel like I want to point out that even though I didn't like RTWM, I also hardly give a damn about the mode in the first place, as it's not even close to being the most important thing to me.

So, even though I spent so much time bitching about it but loving the rest of the game, yeah says a lot.

Besides, maybe David is right and i'm being way too damn harsh on it. Admittedly I didn't get very far. The Bragging Rights match pissed me off, and the backstage with Edge soured me.

That all happens right at the beginning. So yeah. Maybe it's me.
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PostSubject: Re: Impressions/Review of WWE '12 (Now that I'm starting to get an overall feel)   Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:15 am

For the backstage bits, you just have to get people in the right place in the room. For the bit that has the vending machine, when it says "To the right of the vending machine" It actually usually means throw them INTO the vending machine.

And yes, the storyline does get a lot better, especially in the third chapter. I'll post a separate post with the storyline spoiler in it so you can see what I mean.

I'm not climbing to the top of the mountain. I am the damn mountain!
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